We sometimes love them. We sometimes hate them. We often love to hate them.
And among these villains are some of the most intriguing and incredible characters to grace he Anime medium.
I love a good villain, and today we’re going to look at my favourite one in Anime.
For this challenge, I only included characters who didn’t”switch sides”. Therefore characters such as Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z and others who wound up sharing a similar “change of heart” don’t count, including a certain character who otherwise would have made this entry.
Anyway… Without further delay…
Tomura Shigaraki (My Hero Academia)
I’ve always had a thing for rival characters. I’ve always loved the idea of a character who serves both as an evil parallel and contrast to the protagonist of the story. The conflict of these two opposing forces with opposite ideals is always something I can easily engage with. From Naruto and Sasuke to Gon and Hisoka, rivalries are one of my favourite plot devices in Anime.
And My Hero Academia’s Tomura Shigaraki is the perfect embodiment of everything I love about the rival antagonist archetype.
Unlike protagonist Izuku Midoriya, who lives and breathes the concept of heroism, who possesses the unbreakable spirit of a hero and who always seeks to do the right thing, Tomura serves as a strong contrast to his heroic nature. He is the complete opposite in every single way possible, and serves as the ultimate opposing force for Izuku. He relentlessly attacks anyone who dares get in the way of his ambitions, he is ruthless and villainous to the core and he actively despises the very concept of heroism. He hates heroes and everything they stand for, which acts as an interesting contrast to Izuku’s admiration for heroes and his desire to become the greatest hero of all.
His personality is everything I look for in a sadistic rival character. Tomura is an evil and nasty piece of work. He loves hurting others and he enjoys inflicting pain to the heroes he despises so much. Yet, amongst his over the top and sadistic personality, he is also incredibly calm and calculating. He is an excellent strategist and natural leader and is next in line to take command of the League of Villains, the main organisation of evil and crime in the My Hero Academia storyline, despite being a great deal younger than the other members. And to add to all of the above, he’s totally insane. He talks to himself frequently, he throws child like tantrums when things don’t go his way and he has a tendency to tear away at his own neck with his fingernails when he is frustrated, all of which further enhance his warped and deluded character.
And who can forget his awesome usage of video game terms such as “game over”, “cheat” and “final boss”. It’s a silly thing, but it’s something that I, as a massive video game nerd, found to be an enjoyable little quirk (no pun intended).
I also love his character design. Both his villain costume and his civilian costume (which has yet to be shown in the Anime). It’s striking, it’s memorable and it’s super disturbing, which all add that little bit more to his messed up character. Especially those 14 disembodied hands he has plastered all over his face and body. Those are just… Messed up… Specifically the one he uses to cover his face because he’s been shown to have developed an actual emotional dependency for it and proceeds to lose what little sanity he has left if it ever falls off.
And how could I talk about Tomura without talking about his power? His quirk, Disintegration allows him to disintegrate anything he touches with his hands. While it’s an incredibly basic ability, it’s surprising how well he utilises it and makes the most if its limitations. And like everything else relating to Tomura, it’s just another thing that adds to his sadistic existence.
Tomura is a fantastic villain. He is the perfect embodiment of the archetype he represents and I look forward to seeing more of him in the upcoming second season of My Hero Academia next year.
Those hands though… *shudders*
Who’s your favourite villain in Anime?